If you have problems breathing at night or chronic upper respiratory problems, your general practitioner or family doctor might diagnose a deviated septum and recommend that you have it surgically corrected. What type of doctor should you pick for septum surgery?

The nasal septum

Your nasal passages are divided into two sections by bone and cartilage. This bone and cartilage divider is known as the septum. It should be perfectly straight. If it is not, then it can cause problems with breathing and inhibit the proper drainage of your sinuses.

You can be born with a deviated septum or it can be damaged in an accident. On occasion, it can grow crooked as your body grows. No matter the reason for the deviation, surgery is necessary to correct it. This surgery is often performed by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.

ENT versus plastic surgeon

Both ENTs and plastic surgeons are skilled at surgery on the nose. If you want to change the exterior look of your nose, the plastic surgeon is the logical choice. However as experienced as cosmetic and plastic surgeons are at reconstructing and reforming the look of the exterior of the nose, they are not respiratory experts.

Correcting a deviated septum is a routine procedure for ENTs. They perform this type of surgery on a regular basis. If the plastic surgeon has experience in reforming the interior of the nasal passages, it is limited. 

If your surgery includes more than just correcting a deviated septum (such as removing polyps or turbinates) then you clearly want the services of a skilled ENT.

When it comes to septum surgery, the ENT is clearly the medical professional to see.